Location: Brooklyn, NY
Featured Work: Easter and Everything
Source: 2017-2018 CIVA Sourcebook
From curator Michelle Westmark Wingard
Wayne Adam’s painting is an intriguing use of materials exploring the visual complexity and interplay of 2- and 3-dimensionality.
Describe your featured work
Easter and Everything is the result of a personal challenge that became something of a symbol of a new direction in my work. For years, I have had a tendency to work in discreet series, moving from making paintings along one theme or technique to another. During one particularly insightful studio visit in 2015, I confessed to feeling a bit stuck in a rut and a friend suggested combining all of the individual techniques and series into one painting. This painting resulted from my third attempt (I stopped twice because I wasn’t willing to potentially ruin a painting I liked). The title came about because the work was made around the Easter holiday and I was interested in the colors I was seeing on candy and toys, etc. and the juxtaposition of it all with the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection. In my experience, it was all getting mashed together—reading books about easter with my kids, easter egg hunts, crazy amounts of candy and also Easter church services and the story of Christ. The finished painting is something of a cacophony of line, texture, and marks, alluding to flatness and three-dimensional space, action, and stasis—all at the same time.
I am interested in painting as a lens through which to reconcile my perception of the corporeal world with intangible notions of human emotion, experience, and meaning. It is an understanding of art as a treatise on human nature—the practice of making art as a means of making one more human. Recurring themes include Christian theology, material presence, humor, philosophy, and my daughter’s drawings.
What are you working on now?
I have a lot of work going in the studio right now. Much of it is currently influenced by Christian themes and biblical stories found in the Children’s Worship Bulletins my church leaves out for kids at my church. Sheep, wolves, golden calves, and the good Samaritan are all finding their way into new paintings.
Why do you belong to CIVA?
CIVA has introduced me to an amazing community of friends, colleagues, scholars, and mentors. I haven’t met another cohort of like-minded people who can relate to my interest in art and Christian theology as I have in CIVA.
CIVA has been involved in helping my art career, given me my first opportunity to publish articles, and present in a conference setting.
I would not be the artist I am today without CIVA.
Wayne Adams is a Brooklyn-based artist who received his B.F.A. from Calvin College and M.F.A. from Washington University in St. Louis. Adams has exhibited throughout the Midwest, New York and Vienna, Austria. Recent shows include, “The Flat Files Year Three” TSA, Brooklyn, NY (2015) “Wayne Adams is Speaking in Tongues: A show of objects and images organized by the unrelenting voice of interpretation” Barrington Center for the Arts, Wenham, MA (2014), “Works Off Canvas” Denny Gallery, NY (2013), “Control Alt Delete” HKJB, Brooklyn, NY (2011), “Adams | Miracle” STOREFRONT Gallery, Brooklyn, NY (2010).